Pope Francis General Audience June 15: Turn to the peripheries

Today, Pope Francis discussed the Lord’s attention to the blind man on the road to Jericho and how we should likewise turn our attention to those on the peripheries so as to recognize the Lord in them.

In a report from Vatican Radio:

During his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke on the importance of opening our eyes and hearts to the poor, and the healing offered to all who have faith. Wednesday’s catechesis centered on the story of Jesus healing the blind man on his way to Jericho.

Below, please find the official English-language summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis, which was delivered in Italian.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider Jesus’ miracle of restoring sight to a blind man on the way to Jericho (Lk 18:35-43).  The blind man, forced to beg for a living, can represent all those disadvantaged persons who, even today, find themselves on the periphery of our societies.  The prosperous city of Jericho, for its part, evokes the conquest of the Promised Land and Moses’ stern warning that, once settled, God’s People were not to harden their hearts or be blind to the presence of those in need (cf. Dt 15).  Unlike the crowd, Jesus does not ignore the blind man or try to silence his cries.  He stops, turns the eyes of all to the blind man, and, acknowledging his faith, restores his sight.  St. Luke tells us that the man, now healed, became a disciple of Jesus.  Not only, but the crowd too now sees; their eyes are opened to the meaning of this encounter of mercy, and they give praise to God (v. 43).  During this Jubilee of Mercy may we too open our eyes and hearts to God’s love for the poor and to the gift of healing that he offers to all who turn to him in faith.

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